Maiwand Lion, Forbury Gardens, Reading

Conservation program of cleaning and repairs to the cast iron Maiwand Lion statue and plinth.

Project overview

Project overview
Reading Borough Council appointed Cliveden Conservation to carry out a conservation program of cleaning and repairs to the cast iron Maiwand Lion statue and plinth.

Summary of the conservation work carried out
Cleaning the plinth was carried out effectively using ThermaTech system set to high and moderate pressure. All vegetation was removed from the monument and a fungicide applied to prevent regrowth. A copper stain poultice was used to draw out substantial copper staining to the stone beneath the bronze plaques. All open and failing joints were raked out and repointed with lime mortar. A displaced section of cornice was pinned into correct position with threaded stainless-steel bar and epoxy resin.

Stone indent and whole block repairs were carried out and the surrounding granite paving was raked and re-grouted.

Two bronze plaques were removed by a sub-contractor to allow for repairs to the underlying stone. Loose plaques were secured, and all were microcrystalline hot waxed.

The gap between the cast iron statue base and asphalt was suitably sealed and flaking paint was removed. The lion was then rubbed down with metal fleece pads to provide a keyed surface before receiving treatment for rust. Finally, the cast iron base and lion were painted.

The appearance, cohesion, and condition of the monument has been greatly improved through sensitive cleaning and sympathetic repairs. Working in close collaboration with the architect, Cliveden Conservation has successfully carried out all the necessary repairs, slowed down weather damage and prevented further deterioration.

Photo credit: Simon Camper  |  Lumen Photography Ltd.

Project details


Reading Borough Council

Specialist Contractor:

Cliveden Conservation


Advisory and material analysis | Stonework

What we did